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We currently have a physical SMA appliance which is a few versions behind (7.02.103) and are going to upgrade to the 9.02 VIRTUAL appliance.  Has anyone done this?  What lessons learned would you care to share?

We also have an option to just greenfield this as we haven't invested a lot of effort into the SMA physical appliance up to now.  The only gotcha I can see is that we have the old Agents deployed.  Any ideas or opinions on this approach?

Thanks!
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At first:
You cannot upload the backup in another version.

The first step would be:
Update the agents to 7.2 at least:
Go to Settings | Provisioning |Update Agents and upload the 7.2 agent bundle and enable Auto Update.
This will update the agents step by step when they check in next time. Do not go further until you got rid off all agents older than 7.0!

The second step: collect the license key from the old appliance. 
The third step: do a full backup, verify that it works
The fourth step: Update the old appliance as high as possible (I assume you are using an old G11 appliance, so 8.0 will be the latest step)
Follow this KB article to do so:
https://support.quest.com/kb/155574/upgrading-a-kace-systems-management-appliance-that-is-multiple-versions-behind-upgrade-path-6-x-to-9-0-
The fifth step: Shutdown your old appliance. Setup the new appliance in the very same version as the old appliance. 
The sixth step: Restore the backup from the old one. Follow this KB article:
https://support.quest.com/kace-systems-management-appliance/kb/119863/how-to-migrate-database-between-multiple-smas-k1000s
The seventh step: Update the appliance (if not done) to the latest version (see step 4)
The final step: Upload the latest agent bundle and let auto update the agents to 9.
Answered 10/02/2018 by: Nico_K
Red Belt